CRN Commemorates 50th Anniversary in 2023

#50yearsofCRN celebration to culminate in gala at October conference

JANUARY 18, 2023

WASHINGTON, DC—The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association of the dietary supplement and functional food industry, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023. Each week, CRN will highlight a memory or milestone with a “Throwback Thursday” reflection on LinkedIn and Twitter as well as in its Daily Supplement member newsletter to commemorate the association’s rich history. The golden anniversary festivities will culminate in a celebration at CRN’s annual conference, taking place Oct. 3–6 at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, in Dana Point, California.

Founded in 1973, CRN has played an instrumental role in the growth and success of the dietary supplement industry for half a century. Since the very beginning, advancing what would become the Rogers-Proxmire amendment of 1976, CRN has been a zealous advocate for the dietary supplement industry and its consumers, while maintaining science-backed positions and a healthy respect for reasonable regulations. CRN has also led the way in industry self-regulation, with a robust library of voluntary guidelines, best practices and recommendations for industry developed over the years, along with a record of initiatives that have elevated the industry, such as CRN’s advertising review program with the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus spanning from 2006 to 2019, and the Supplement OWL to elevate transparency of the industry.

CRN played a key role in obtaining widespread support for the industry’s cornerstone law, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA),  in both the House and the Senate, to the extent that ultimately 2/3 of the senators and over half the representatives had signed on as cosponsors to the bills, as noted in “A Personal History of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (1973–2007),” by former association president and original founding staff member Annette Dickinson, Ph.D.

CRN specialized in negotiating legal and technical issues with the key legislative players, whenever the need or the opportunity arose, Dr. Dickinson noted. “In the final midnight hours of tough negotiations among key staffers in the House, CRN’s legal counsel Daniel Marcus of the firm of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering was the only industry representative allowed by the Congressional staff to participate directly in the process,” she recalled.  True to that legacy, CRN’s government relations team again in 2022 was the sole representative of the dietary supplement industry remaining at the Congressional negotiation table, obtaining key concessions with respect to the proposed Dietary Supplement Listing Act.

“For 50 years, CRN has served the dietary supplement and functional food industry, growing alongside the industry. CRN provides its member companies the unique opportunity to speak as a united voice, with member company participants in the association playing an active role collaborating with CRN staff in shaping our industry into the positive force that impacts the lives of so many,” said Tara Martin, chair of CRN’s board of directors and general counsel, Nutrawise.

Immediate past chair Barry Ritz, Ph.D., vice president and head of regulatory, scientific, and medical affairs for Nestlé Health Science observed, “As a longtime CRN board member, I've had a consistent view of the association's achievements demonstrating unmatched association expertise in regulatory, scientific, and governmental affairs, and an impressive history of communicating the value of dietary supplements and functional foods. CRN has played an integral role in this industry's growth and in achieving the mainstream status dietary supplements hold today.”

“CRN holds in great esteem the dietary supplement and functional food companies of our membership that have been the lifeblood of our association—and responsible industry leaders—throughout our 50-year history,” said CRN President & CEO Steve Mister. “Together we have elevated the industry and come together still today to ensure our continued growth and innovation toward making better nutrition more accessible to everyone. We invite industry stakeholders to join us in celebrating #50yearsofCRN throughout the year and in October at our annual conference gala.”

Update: Register today for CRN's 50th anniversary events at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Oct. 3–6.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing more than 200 dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and companies providing services to those manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements and food in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @CRN_Supplements and LinkedIn.